Just a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi revoked the suspension of senior party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, the latter has again sparked a controversy by repeating his 'remove Modi' comment.
When asked about his remarks on the raging controversy triggered by fellow Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, Aiyar, who had been suspended by his party following the infamous 'neech' remark that he had made against the Prime Minister that played such a pivotal role in the Gujarat elections, said:
"I think that the Sidhu controversy interests the media. You will forget about it by tomorrow. The more fundamental question is India-Pak relations.
He then elaborated, expressing once again that the Modi government would be cast aside and that the new government would take forward Indo-Pak relations:
There has been no progress in four-and-a-half years so I do not expect any progress in the few weeks or months that remain for the Modi government. There will be elections, there will be a new government, and you come back to me when the new government comes and at that time and I will share with you my hopes for India-Pakistan resumption of dialogue".
In the press statement reinstating Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Congress stated that Rahul Gandhi had approved the recommendation of the Central Disciplinary Committee of AICC for revoking Aiyar's primary membership.
While questioning this, BJP spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra mounted a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi, alleging that the Congress' move to suspend Mani Shankar Aiyar for the 'neech' remark had been mere eyewash.
"We have been questioning this to the Congress and particularly Rahul Gandhi. If you remember, during the Gujarat election, it was Mani Shankar Aiyar's appalling 'neech Comment'. We had raised this question that you cannot denigrate the Prime Minister who belongs to a particular community and in reply to that the Congress Party had suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar. Back then, we had said that this is just an eyewash and a hogwash. They are going to take Mani Shankar Aiyar back and this is just a drama before Gujarat election. They did not want to alienate Gujarat. Today when they take back Mani Shankar it only proves that the Congress Party likes to hit back at the Prime Minister whenever they get a chance", he said.
Mani Shankar Aiyar has regularly courted controversy regarding his remarks relating to Pakistan. In November 2015, while appearing in a discussion on a top Pakistani news channel, Aiyar had advised Pakistan to 'first remove Modi' in order to make headway with India. More recently, in 2018, he talked India down and held the 'Indian mindset' inferior in contrast to the Pakistan mindset.